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KOffice GUI Competition Winner

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the community-makes-it-better dept.

204

Boudewijn Rempt writes "The KOffice GUI Competition has been won by Martin Pfeiffer. His entry was chosen from eighteen submissions by the jury because of its innovative, ground-breaking approach to workflow and document handling. Many submitters broke away from the beaten path and explored wild and wonderful ideas. The results page also has all submitted entries available for review."

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204 comments

I love KDE (-1, Offtopic)

Tezkah (771144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855012)

Man, I am really loving KDE 3.5 and cant wait for KDE4 to show up.

Love it or hate it, you have to be impressed with what they're doing.

Re:I love KDE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855153)

Love it or hate it,

Does "fucking loathe it" belong to "hate it"?

Fucking monKeys.

Re:I love KDE (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855259)

Does "fucking loathe it" belong to "hate it"?

you're just mad because Konqueror let me get first post.

poor kid.

Re:I love KDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855155)

Love it or hate it, you have to be impressed with what they're doing.

Truly an American icon.

KDE (-1, Offtopic)

u16084 (832406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855039)

Offtopic, but its amazing how meny sites have "KDE4" Screenshots when its not even close to completion.. an "Artist Rendering" is NOT a screen shot.

Re:KDE (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855059)

If it's an artist rendering that's on a screen then it's a screenshot. Fuckin' nazi.

Re:KDE (-1, Offtopic)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855068)

By my calculations, based on Godwin's law, this thread is likely to die quickly.

Re:KDE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855237)

I, for one, welcome our quick and dead thread overlords!

Re:KDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855127)

What are you talking about? There's one site that has purported KDE 4 "screenshots". Where are all these others you claim exist?

Re:KDE (2, Informative)

Poltras (680608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855459)

Try this [google.com] .

It's not shiney enough. (5, Funny)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855041)

sure, it might enhance productivity, but if you want an MSFT office killer you need the pretty visuals to win people over.

Re:It's not shiney enough. (2, Funny)

wytcld (179112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855130)

That's why everybody's first choice is Yahoo for searches, and Google's been forgotten!

Re:It's not shiney enough. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855363)

It's not about pretty versus functional, it's about immediate satisfaction versus long-term gain.

The quality of a search engine is immediately apparent. You either find what you are looking for or you don't.

The productivity of an office suite isn't immediately apparent. If it saves you a few hours per month, then the average person won't notice.

The prettiness of an office suite, on the other hand, is immediately apparent. The average person can load it up and go "ooh" or "ugh" straight away.

The OP's point stands: it's not about who's better, it's about who can impress the average end-user immediately. In the case of office suites, this is manifested as "prettiness wins". In the case of search engines, this is manifested as "relevant results win".

Re:It's not shiney enough. (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855133)

Have you ever seen the crap most stores, banks, warehouses use?

The software they run U G L Y.

Blue background and gray text... perhaps so you won't notice when you BSOD. My local bank is using software originally programmed for Win95 machines.

A lot of data entry and POS (point of sale) software looks horrible outdated, but it gets the job done. Go Figure.

Re:It's not shiney enough. (2, Insightful)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855273)

I'd guess (hope?) that many of those software packages had gone through extensive usability testing, and the reason for the garish colours was that it minimizes eye strain for the poor people staring at them for 8 hours a day.

Also, kind of interesting your bank uses software programmed for Win95 - I thought most banks used OS/2 :)

Re:It's not shiney enough. (4, Insightful)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855483)

No, it's because when a serious bank, warehouse, or whatever finds an application that works, they leave it the hell alone. Suppose they do an upgrade. One of two things will happen:
1) New version still works, and looks nicer.
2) New version no longer works.

The benfits on 1 do not outway the disaster of 2.

Re:It's not shiney enough. (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855486)

Diebold software on some Windows variant at the banks here ... only know because you can see them booting up every few weeks when the ATMs die.

Re:It's not shiney enough. (1)

jgclark123 (812195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855307)

I went to my guidance counseler the other day and a noticed a secretary entering data in a DOS application on a Windows XP computer with the Olive Luna theme. Talk about ugly UIs!

Re:It's not shiney enough. (2, Interesting)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855416)

Presumably it's because they're used to it. Some word processor in the early 90s made white-on-blue almost a standard -- was it an early version of WordPerfect, or was it Word? I forget. Anyway, it's still an option in current versions of Microsoft Word (Tools - Options - General), and you can set OOo up that way too if you want, though that requires a bit more effort. Anyway, yuck.

Re:It's not shiney enough. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855480)

It was Word. Word 4/5/6 for DOS used blue-on-white.

Re:It's not shiney enough. (2, Interesting)

Tourney3p0 (772619) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855139)

In that case, I don't want an Office killer. I want something lean and fast. Seems that's becoming more and more rare these days.

Re:It's not shiney enough. (3, Funny)

Nutria (679911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855379)

In that case, I don't want an Office killer. I want something lean and fast.

Emacs on a Sun3 !!!!!

Re:It's not shiney enough. (2, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855488)

I want something lean and fast. Seems that's becoming more and more rare these days.

No, software doesn't wear out. When new software with bells and whistles is released, it adds to the amount of choices available to you, but nobody's forcing you to install the new apps.

In the office software arena, there are plenty of lightweight apps and suites if you're prepared to look. Abiword, Sphygmic spreadsheet, Siag office, the Softmaker suite or even Ragtime, for some definitions of lightweight...

Re:It's not shiney enough. (4, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855144)

sure, it might enhance productivity, but if you want an MSFT office killer you need the pretty visuals to win people over.

What you need is "can't live without it once you've used it" features that aren't available elsewhere. I would have to say, after reading through his PDF submission, that, at the very least, there is the beginnings of a much more overview and workflow oriented approach to working with office documents that could be exceptionally powerful. Yes it needs to be implemented well and have decent scope. Ideally some manner of workflow view for an entire corpus of related documents - reports, spreadsheets, presentations, the lot - would be ideal. It takes a little imagination to see the full possibilities, but I think they really might be on to something here, and I am keen to see the final results.

Jedidiah.

Re:It's not shiney enough. (1)

Ugmo (36922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855526)

much more overview and workflow oriented approach to working with office documents that could be exceptionally powerful.

I am enthusiastic that people are working on new ways of producing documents. An application with a whole new approach might help in making encroachments on Microsoft's monopoly. However, given that Microsoft tends to "innovate" by copying other peoples' ideas, once a new approach is settled on and produced, it might be a good idea to obtain a patent and assign ownership to one of the open source groups. Workflow processes etc. should not be patentable but sadly, they are. If KOffice comes up with something truly innovative and useful, Microsoft will just replicate it in MS Office and possibly patent it itself despite the prior art. The way things are at the patent office MS could probably get away with it.

Microsoft is already adding tabbed browsing to IE after Firefox started gaining acceptance (I know Firefox did not invent it but MS didn't care about adding this feature, something I cannot live without, until Firefox started getting popular.) An office suite with a new popular and productive interface would quickly become a target for MS.

Check it out (5, Insightful)

Life700MB (930032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855042)


It's a pity the real poor coverage KOffice gets in the web compared to OpenOffice, being a really cool suite with great programs. It deserves a lot of respect what are they doing.


--
Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 20GB Storage, 1_TB_ bandwidth, ssh, $7.95

Re:Check it out (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855145)

Its a pity KOffice only runs on *nixes (afaik).

OpenOffice runs on Windows and OS X.

Given most computers run on Windows, that translates to more coverage. You want to slingshot KOffice into the limelight with OO.org port it to Windows.

It would also help Mass., with its ODF migration.

Re:Check it out (5, Interesting)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855173)

KOffice 2.0 (to be released for KDE4) will be able to run natively on X11, Windows, and OS X (no X server layer on OS X I believe).

Re:Check it out (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855261)

I am eagerly waiting for the day when I would be able to run kde natively on windows. That would be sweet:) cygwin port of kde is ok but rather slow. http://kde-cygwin.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Check it out (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855292)

I'm pretty sure the delayed release for Windows and OSX was due to Trolltech's disallowing of Qt being used in non-free operating systems without a license. Qt 4 fixed that, though, so KDE 4 will be multi-platform beyond just Linux and BSD.

Re:Check it out (5, Informative)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855357)

The cygwin port of KDE is dead. KDE 4 is using the native windows version of Qt 4 (Qt4 is GPL on all platforms).

Re:Check it out (-1, Troll)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855199)

I would say it's a shame that OO.org runs on proprietary operating systems. Why should good Free software help M$ and Apple sell operating systems?

Re:Check it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855212)

I would say that you're an unrealistic dickhead.

Re:Check it out (3, Informative)

mandolin (7248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855239)

I would say it's a shame that OO.org runs on proprietary operating systems. Why should good Free software help M$ and Apple sell operating systems?

If you really want to look at it that way, think about how it would "help" MS lose an MS Office sale.

Re:Check it out (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855258)

To respond to this troll one can only say, I seriously doupt OpenOffice has "sold" a single copy of Windows, and MAY have sold several copies of Linux.

AKA you don't buy Windows for its OpenOffice support, you don't even buy Windows and say, well I would have gotten linux, but I can still run OpenOffice... So I went with Windows.

Re:Check it out (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855500)

Why should good Free software help M$ and Apple sell operating systems?

Because it's open source and enough of us want it to. The whole point of open source is that it's less restrictive than commercial software.

Re:Check it out (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855582)

Saying that OpenOffice runs on OS X is technically true, but somewhat stretching things. OpenOffice runs in X (not the native Quartz/Aqua). It doesn't support drag and drop / copy and paste with the rest of the OS nicely, and it doesn't even come close to conforming to the platform's human interface guidelines.

Re:Check it out (1)

someone300 (891284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855161)

Same for the GNOME Office programs, currently Abiword, Gnumeric and GNOME-DB. Abiword recently implemented collaborative editing via Jabber. Personally, I find Koffice and GNOME Office better than Microsoft Office and OpenOffice. Just need a good presentation program now.

Re:Check it out (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855299)

Well, AbiWord has a Windows version as well, and I know that there are many Windows users who use it for the leanness.

Re:Check it out (1)

Ecko7889 (882690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855193)

When I get some nice MsOffice interpolarity, it will still be a weak program. I still have formating problems with OO.o, and it's starting to become agrevating.

Re:Check it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855254)

It deserves a lot of respect what are they doing

Right, and before anyone asks it, a quick faq question...

Q) "Why not use openoffice, koffice just duplicate efforts"

A) "Because koffice was there before openoffice was opensourced by sun"

Re:Check it out (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855505)

A) "Because koffice was there before openoffice was opensourced by sun"

Actually, it's because we like choices. The more suites and apps the better, as long as they have a common format so we're not locked in to the first one we try.

Koffice only has one disadvantage (1, Interesting)

xenoterracide (880092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855055)

the lack of filetype's suppported. It doesn't, I think support exporting to pdf, nor does it support .doc. This is it's only real drawbacks. Otherwise I am starting to like it better than OpenOffice especially because it has the office feature I wanted. tabs so I can have multiple documents open in one window at once. Which is what I want as otherwise I almost end up with several office windows open at once and it gets so cluttered.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (5, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855080)

Ofcourse it supports exporting to PDF; all KDE applications does. You just press print and use the PDF printer.

Importing .doc is however notiously difficult, and KWord only does so in limited ways.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (1)

xenoterracide (880092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855102)

ah thank you I have yet to print something... I probably would have noticed that later tonight when I print my papers. They should have it be an obvious button like OpenOffice does. My mistake. I only installed it a few weeks ago though and haven't used it that much yet.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (5, Interesting)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855265)

Of course it supports exporting to PDF; all KDE applications does.

Actually, kword can open PDF files, which is something that openoffice still can't do AFAIK.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (2, Informative)

AusIV (950840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855514)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but generally exporting PDFs from a word processing standpoint is fairly different from print drivers. I have PDF995 for windows (a print driver that creates a PDF), and the PDF is basically a picture of the document. OpenOffice, on the other hand, will let me export straight from a document to PDF. The file is smaller and renders better on a larger scale because it uses text rather than an image.

I've not used KDE's PDF printer, but since you get to it from the print menu, I'd think the result would be more similar to a PDF995 PDF than exporting straight to PDF using OpenOffice.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855087)

Everything that can print in KDE supports exporting to PDF. I can print this very page from Konqueror to a PDF file if I want to.

The real problem, as you noted, is the .doc support. However, I think the hope is that once OpenOffice and KOffice sync up their OpenDocument support, then OpenOffice's .doc support can be used.

Pretty much all KDE apps can "print" to PDF (1)

loqi (754476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855091)

I've noticed as well that the option is generally not listed when you look for exporting... but the KDE print system can "print" to a PDF file.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (2, Insightful)

rRaminrodt (250095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855101)

All kde programs, including koffice, can print to pdf. It's a function of the printing subsystem, not the app itself.

It's not as good as OO.org at opening word docs, but I just tried one someone emailed me and it opened up fine and I could get at the content.

Even better, they're standardizing on the OpenDocument format. Hopefully, the more folks use opendocument the fewer issues exchanging files between different office apps.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855111)

Actually, it does support .doc, but I don't think it supports the latest versions of doc (I know it can import Office 97 files.)

Also, you can export to PDF, it's just done oddly. File->Print then you can choose two virtual printers, "Print to File (PS)" and "Print to File (PDF)".

Here's a screenshot [68.205.87.189] (Please don't kill my connection, Slashdot.)

Oh, and here's a screenshot [68.205.87.189] of .doc support (again, unknown version support).

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (1)

xenoterracide (880092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855135)

to post my correction somplace more visible "ah thank you I have yet to print something... I probably would have noticed that later tonight when I print my papers. They should have it be an obvious button like OpenOffice does. My mistake. I only installed it a few weeks ago though and haven't used it that much yet." I still don't see that I can save to .doc though at least not that I can see. not that I like saving to .doc, I only do that when that's the only way someone will take my submission. I always export or 'print' to pdf these days because if at all possible I refuse to save to .doc because I don't believe that it should be as standardized as it is. Everyone should have a pdf reader. If nothing else adobe acrobat. It's free however word costs $100+ I think. Some places seem to only accept .doc submissions though.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (1)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855271)

The problem with PDFs, and the reason for wanting other formats, is probably the fixed nature of them. Most people don't have PDF editors. If someone wants, say, to copy/paste your contact details out of your job application, it's a little difficult.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855303)

PDFs, PostScript, and DVIs are made to be static pages that will display the same regardless of device, not edittable documents. If you want to make an edittable document, you use a format like ODF or even TeX.

Re:Koffice only has one disadvantage (1)

xenoterracide (880092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855309)

I agree with that. But I would rather submit pdf's than doc's. But copying text is easy with adobe acrobat. you just have to turn on text selection. It's not on by default. I can't really blame people for not wanting to deal with Open Document though, the majority of people don't even know what it is. They certainly wouldn't have a clue as to where to find a reader. Telling them to download open office (or Koffice 1.5 when it's stable) and it's their problem won't work. So I give them pdf's and if they want to edit it I'll give them an open document and tell them where to get an editor. Most of what I submit most people have no business editing anyway, like my resume, or a paper for class.

The actual proposal (5, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855062)

If anyone else was looking for the guy's actual proposal that was submitted to the competition, this is it:

http://www.koffice.org/competition/gui1results/mar tin_pfeiffer.pdf [koffice.org]

Frankly I think a lot of what he suggests strike me as rather "duh" concepts -- things which ought to be rather obvious but are ignored in some of the major office suites. I'm not sure how I feel about an application having a "desktop" which is separate from the actual OS' desktop; it seems like it would lead to a situation where every application has its own desktop, possibly with conflicting UI metaphors, and that's not a good end result for the user.

Re:The actual proposal (4, Informative)

critter_hunter (568942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855092)

StarOffice 5 (and possibly other versions) had an internal desktop and it was mind-numbingly useless.

Re:The actual proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855373)

Oh god, don't remind me. Whoever thought that that was a good idea should be shot. That's probably the main reason I switched back to MS Office a few years ago (I've been meaning to try out the latest version of OpenOffice, but I rarely use any office software now so it's not really a priority for me).

Internal desktop (3, Interesting)

sinewalker (686056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855531)

Well, I agree that the internal desktop (and the MDI interface model in general) sucks, but is it a bad idea, or is it just an unworkable implementation of a good idea? The good points of the internal desktop were that the different document types could be made to work together in a fasion that the OS doesn't seem able to do (the office suite is able to get at the meta-data and internals of your documents, and facilitates good indexing and integration of the documents -- but the OS just shows you filename/type/size and a date). The bad points are that the "Office" desktop and the "Real/OS" desktop are as seperate from each other as the "Physical" desktop items that your computer sits upon. So if you have a document that isn't produced from one of the suite's programes, it becomes difficult to locate and use it in the office desktop. I would like to see the some of the ideas from SO5 and the winner's proposals migrate into the actual OS desktop. Unfortunately that would mean sharing meta-knowledge of the documents between the OS and the office apps, and would effectively end the cross-platform goals for KOffice and OOo.

Re:Internal desktop (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855581)

Well KOffice has the advantage of having its own desktop environment to work with.

Without KDE it could just not have those features, and on it use them. If I am not mistaken the KDE team has already integrated some stuff into KDE that the OS is unaware of (in removable media)

Re:The actual proposal (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855093)

it seems like it would lead to a situation where every application has its own desktop, possibly with conflicting UI metaphors, and that's not a good end result for the user.

That would [protopage.com] never [palm.com] ever [chrischandler.com] happen [google.com] .

Re:The actual proposal (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855569)

Be fair. Google Desktop doesn't try to replace or recreate the desktop; it's just an overgrown toolbar that sits on Windows's desktop. And Palm Desktop doesn't even have a "desktop" like the parent is referring to. Are you just linking to anything with "desktop" in its name, regardless of whether it actually has its own internal desktop or not?

Re:The actual proposal (3, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855125)

I'm not sure how I feel about an application having a "desktop" which is separate from the actual OS' desktop; it seems like it would lead to a situation where every application has its own desktop, possibly with conflicting UI metaphors, and that's not a good end result for the user.

I think you need to view it less as the application having its own desktop so much as the office suite having a "workflow" view. There's plenty of space in the office suite market for such an overview option, particularly if it can provide a workflow overview of a inter-related corpus of various documents (spreadsheets, presentations, reports, etc.) as well as just a single document. Think in terms of how Aperture is a workflow oriented overview for photographers and imagine a workflow oriented overview for office workers. I think there's plenty of scope for dramatic improvements there.

Jedidiah.

Re:The actual proposal (3, Interesting)

Ecko7889 (882690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855181)

I did in fact read the entire PDF. It was interesting read with some very technical details. Alot of the information is very relevant to working on a document. A lot of users only use the icons as a source of editing. If they can't find the icon, they have to go wander through menus, which cause some hassle. I would like to be able to see more drag and drop functions. He stated in his PDF that he would like to integrate the concept of "desk space". Mimic how you would handle many documents spread out on your desk. This can be very influencial in how the mouse interacts with the documents.

It will be a nice concept, that will hopefully spawn more user friendly and easier to edit documents. I don't know how many times, I use OO.o, and wonder why they haven't tried anything new when it comes to GUI. There are a lot of problems with programs failing to try and "learn" the habits of a specific user. If I happen to use a certain tool a lot more than others. I want the icon to be on the toolbar if it isn't already. They are making improvements, but it will be a while before a dynamically created GUI specific to a user is automatically done over time.

When the program is your COMPLETE bitch, only then is it right to use.

Re:The actual proposal (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855255)

I think it is pretty clear that what an "Office" suite should do is provide direct manipulatable virtual analogs of pages that you can move around on your virtual desktop. Not a desktop that is in a window, but the actual desktop which is completely underutilized in every operating system currently in existance. The "application" should be transparent. It should enable the manipulation of the objects you're interested in working on.

Re:The actual proposal (1)

inerte (452992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855420)

A private desktop allows more control over widgets and content. You don't need to break the existing OS UI guidelines, in fact, if done properly, every windows, button or menu will follow the style of the operating system.

Call it sour grapes... (4, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855549)

I'm hugely disappointed; I sent my PDF entry to three email addresses, even contacted Ingwa on IRC for confirmation of receiving my entry, and it's still not shown on the results page. I wonder if they ever received it.

I don't know if my idea sucked or was plain and obvious, but it's a huge bummer it's not even on the results page for some reason, as though they never received it. Mine was an interface reorganization with an emphasis on a context-sensitive area to keep things familiar and free of clutter (first thing to go was that horrible toolbar).

I can't believe all this time I've been sitting here thinking they were reading it. I put a lot of work into it. I wonder what the heck happened. :-(

Since it doesn't matter now, I offer it to Slashdot. Click here to read my entry in original PDF form [scaredlittleboy.org] if you want to check it out. Let me know what you think. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's not intended to be. These crazy experimental office interfaces are exactly what the user doesn't need.

Man, what a disappointment that they never even got it. Figures. But hey, I offer mine here as GPL too--if someone wants to use it for something, go right ahead.

uhgg (4, Interesting)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855070)

This is the first time I've heard of this contest. I would've been nice if they made an effort to publicize it within the industrial and graphic design communities (ie IDSA and AIGA for starters).

I can't say that I'm very impressed with the winner or any of the runner ups. The OS community should seize the opportunity to accept and leverage professional interactive design.

The commercial software industry doesn't do this very well... does it's make sense to exploit this weakness?

Re:uhgg (1)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855096)

It's because the open source community takes its cues from proprietary software. 99% of the time, this means open source developers are working within a shabby ripoff of the Microsoft aesthetic, which wasn't exactly design-oriented to begin with.

It's peculiar how the open source aesthetic and the Microsoft aesthetic find such similar ways to be stomach-turningly wretched.

Re:uhgg (4, Informative)

fossa (212602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855124)

From what I understand of interaction design, it's hard work. You can't have a contest "design an interface" and be done with it. That might be a start, if the design is based on observation. The next step would be to start implementing and bring users in for testing early on; then change the design as needed and keep testing. The design must be an iterative process. This is of course difficult with software; many use patterns may not be visible in the short term so I imagine it's easy to draw the wrong conclusions from the observations...

Re:uhgg (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855560)

True. As an interactive designer, I can contest to it being incredibly difficult and time consuming. That's the main reason interactive design gets side stepped. Not only is there the visual design / illustration process that takes months, there is observation, research, specifications, etc.

That said, opening this project up to the design community, even with massive time constraints, would probably yield more successful solutions.

Re:uhgg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855190)

Uhgg, you said leverage.

We want verifiable results (4, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855106)

Those folks at KDE/KOffice actually listen to user input or criticisms. That's good. So I'd like them to solve this issue once and for all.

The issue is to do with fonts. I'd like to have a situation where the entire KDE desktop respects fonts selected by the still missing font manager. Right now, we have two areas where fonts can be configured and these are not [neccessarily] respected by all KDE apps! A wish issue has already been submitted.

What I'd like (4, Interesting)

reason (39714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855147)

Not sure I agree with some of the ideas in the winning entry: most people don't want to work in full page view by default, for instance, since most of us are stuck with monitors and eyesight that make full-page view uncomfortable for reading.

What I'd really like to see is a tool to remember what documents are associated with different projects. When I'm working on my "river1" report, for instance, I want to have "river1 draft manuscript.doc", "river1 budget.xls" and "river1 project plan.doc" open for easy access, and Matlab up with the path set to the river1 directory. I should be able to do all this with a single click.

When I'm working on the "Lake Suchandsuch" project, I want to be able to open a different set of tools and documents with one click: perhaps a putty terminal connected to my high performance computer account, a gvim window with "buggy code.c" open, and a PDF of a scientific manuscript with details of the algorithm I am trying to implement. Does anyone know of a tool that can do this?

Re:What I'd like (1)

niteice (793961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855219)

OS/2 could do that as far back as 1992.

Re:What I'd like (2, Insightful)

mvdw (613057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855234)

Does anyone know of a tool that can do this?

What about bash? Seriously, though, I don't know of a tool that can save a particular desktop context, although KDE tends to save the context on logout, so when you log back in it's pretty much as you logged out. I don't think it extends to files within apps, though, unless they are KDE apps.

It would make a great utility to sit in the task tray (for windows or for KDE or gnome or OSX or whatever): one click and it saves the complete desktop context (open files and all), and creates a desktop shortcut to that context. Maybe even with check boxes to exclude certain apps (like the mail client or mp3 player for example) from the save.

Re:What I'd like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855269)

Yeah, it's called a brain.

Re:What I'd like (1)

reason (39714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855311)

Your brain can open several documents with one click?

Re:What I'd like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855371)

  1. put all the relevant files for a project in one directory
  2. make a script that finds all documents of certain types in a directory, determines the appropriate aplications as needed, optionally adds some command-line parameters to known aplications and uses them to open everything.
  3. Place said script in the list of actions for the directory context menu.
  4. For more advanced use, make some sort of project file that lists all the documents associated with the project and have the script parse that instead, to remove the 'group in the same directory' requirement (bad for cross-referencing)


Depending on the GUI selecting a context menu item might be a one- or two-click option. But you're right, the brain is not the one doing the clicking - I thought a working index finger could handle that part, as most 'human' packages have 2 of those included.

Re:What I'd like (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855400)

There's a tool I use on several platforms that allows me to group as many files as I like, of any type, into a single project. It's called a folder. I know it's not what you're looking for, but isn't it possible to do something like Select all, right click, Open, and have it open all the files in the associated apps? Some File Managers, including Windoze Explorer, will do this.

Re:What I'd like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855558)

I think emacs has this capability as well as the ability to check your email and compile any source code that you might have.

It's starting.... (0, Troll)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855171)

A lot of those concept designs look like they're lifted right out of what Microsoft is doing with Office 12 [msdn.com] .

Yay innovation.

Re:It's starting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855263)

"lifted right out of what Microsoft is doing with Office 12."
"Yay innovation."

If you feel so strongly about it, why didn't you submit a proposal yourself?

 

Re:It's starting.... (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855426)

So does that mean I can't complain about the president bush because I didn't run for office?

Re:It's starting.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855471)

pretty much.

Re:It's starting.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855383)

Imagine that. The same types of people that are praising and supporting an OS that was ROBBED off of legitimate software manufacturers and they can't even be bothered to hold onto the original name because the lead fag of the bunch has too big of a head is stealing from MS now? I don't find it hard to believe. Infact, it's par for the course.

Linux fags are nothing but thieves.

Re:It's starting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855423)

Sounds like someone spent all their money on keeping Windows secure, that or you are just one angry guy.

Re:It's starting.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855450)

I'm talking about Unix fucktard

Re:It's starting.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855529)

douche.

Congratulations, (4, Funny)

santaliqueur (893476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855218)

I hope they give him a free copy for winning.

The sorry state of Open Source user interfaces (5, Insightful)

jackjansen (898733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855262)

The comments to this article (so far) IMHO show why Open Source user interfaces are in such a bad shape: 90% is about some minor functionality that this-or-that package doesn't have, 9% is about graphics design. Only one post discusses the reason this submission won the contest: it proposes an innovative way to present your daily work.

After 20+ years of research results that tell people what good user interface guidelines are, plus companies such as Apple that have products that more-or-less adhere to these guidelines, it seems that the open source community (I know, equating /. posters with the open source community is a bit of a stretch:-) still doesn't get the point. It is not about how many thousand things your application can do, it is not about beautiful screen layouts, it is about enabling the end user to complete the task they have set themselves with the minimal amount of hassle (especially if s/he has done a similar thing many times before), and helping them with that task as much as possible (especially if s/he is doing something for the first time).

The sorry state of Open Source Sequels. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855399)

But 2006 will still be the year for desktop Linux. Right?

Re:The sorry state of Open Source user interfaces (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855441)

I take it that you're volunteering to help out, then? Great, welcome aboard!

Re:The sorry state of Open Source user interfaces (1)

pherthyl (445706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855449)

90% is about some minor functionality that this-or-that package doesn't have, 9% is about graphics design.

You forgot the inevitable and entirely useless "this is why open source/linux will never make it" replies.

Re:The sorry state of Open Source user interfaces (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855524)

IMHO a big part of the problem is that the people who can best solve the UI problems, programmers, are generally quite happy with CLIs and basic, half-working GUIs (CLIs do tend to be more efficient for coding and other relatively "geeky" tasks) and either don't care about improving things, or (more frequently, IMHO) don't even understand what's wrong in the first place. Case in point: I usually use Windows or Mac OS, but I've been trying various distros for the last 6 or 7 years, and keeping a list of the various bugs and annoyances I encounter each time. Nearly every single one of my UI-related annoyances from Red Hat 5.1 and Mandrake 6.0 is still in Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, etc. today, along with quite a few new ones from the various half-assed attempts at making things easier for newbies. Either nobody cares about fixing things (unlikely, given the number of "newbie-friendly" distros created and updated every year), or they don't really know what's wrong in the first place and instead concentrate on things they do understand (and apparently think will win over Windows and Mac users), like new features.

If somebody made a linux GUI that worked exactly like Windows 98 (or classic Mac OS), I'd use it. Unfortunately, the best anybody's done so far is something that works like Windows 3.1 and looks like a freakish combination of XP, Vista, and Mac OS X, with some DOS thrown in when the overly simplified and bug-prone GUI config tools can't get the job done.

In other news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14855314)

Linux is STILL for fags.

sombody forgot the users (0, Offtopic)

idlake (850372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855354)

There may be some useful ideas in there, but for a document proposing the future direction of a major piece of existing software goes, this is laughable: there are no references to user studies, feedback, or other kind of user-centered design in there; all this is based on is looking at Microsoft Office and a bit of navel gazing.

Some difference from iWorks??! (4, Interesting)

hotfireball (948064) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855484)

Sorry for my blindness. But does somebody can point me the difference in the principle between this proposal and Apple iWorks already developed? I see the same style drawer, same page thumbnailer and so on. Currently I see worse iWorks clone, since iWorks/Pages2 offers you better working space since you use only the tools you need actually.

IMHO, @ KDE there was much better proposals than this one.

Am I missing something?..

I've seen this UI before... (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14855513)

...now where was that? Oh, yeah, Microsoft Word for Mac. Except they did it right. Despite what they claim in the article, floating palettes most certainly have been used in office apps.
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